Lee Casciaro interview (part 1)
Lee Casciaro is, without a shadow of doubt, the most famed goalscorer in the history of his home of Gibraltar.
A policeman by day, he transforms into a prolific hitman when on the pitch, and holds a number of records in the tiny oversees British territory’s short competitive history.
Not only is he the first Gibraltarian to score in both Euro and World Cup qualifying matches, but he was also the man that downed former European Cup champions Celtic on the Rock in a 1-0 win earlier this season.
With Casciaro’s nation set for another international battle on March 25, and his club Lincoln Red Imps aiming to defend their domestic league title, he took out time from his busy schedule to talk with FootyOn about these events and much more.
So, read on for part one of our Lee Casciaro interview…
Title is “in our hands”
Starting off with his club Lincoln, who happen to have won each of the last 14 Gibraltar Premier Division crowns.
They are currently just two points ahead of nearest rivals Europa FC with 10 games to go (at the time of writing), and, with their streak being threatened, we asked Lee his thoughts on the title race.
“The league is closer than it’s ever been, so it could go down to the last game,” he said.
“We just have to take it game by game and see where it takes us.
“If we get to win it, good, but if not we will try harder next year.
“But at the moment it’s in our hands.”
League competition “will benefit both locally and internationally”
No doubt he’ll have penned into his diary Lincoln’s third and final 2016/17 league meeting with Europa on April 8, in what may well be the title decider.
Both teams have claimed a win apiece over the other this season (their sole losses), but it is former Red Imps star Liam Walker who has heavily contributed to Europa being title challengers after his switch to the club at the end of last season.
But Casciaro has welcomed more competition for the league, that last saw a different champion way back in 2001/02 when Gibraltar United lifted the trophy.
“Of course it’s good for the league,” the lightning quick 35-year-old said.
“It means you have to be on top of your game for the whole season – especially this year – and it will benefit both locally and internationally.”
Relive Casciaro scoring against Cyprus in a World Cup qualifier…
Which record-breaking goal sticks out most for Casciaro?
That takes us nicely onto the national team, for whom Casciaro is the joint leading scorer with two since Gibraltar were officially recognised by UEFA just under four years ago, and now FIFA.
After scoring against Cyprus last November in a narrow 3-1 away loss, as well as netting against Scotland in Euro 2016 qualifying, and getting the winning goal in the famous 1-0 win over Celtic, we asked Lee which one of his record-breaking strikes is his favourite.
“All three goals have a special meaning for me,” Casciaro said.
“But, like you said, beating Celtic 1-0 here in Gibraltar probably gets the nod in front of the other two.”
Here it is…
“We have to approach every game as if it’s our first and last”
As mentioned above, Gibraltar came very close to getting their first competitive point late last year.
They face Cyprus again at ‘home’ in the summer, so we asked Lee if he thinks a first ever competitive point is possible before the end of the qualifying campaign.
“Every game is different, that’s the beauty of football,” Casciaro added.
“We have to approach every game as if it’s our first and last.
“If that is what it takes to get a point that would be really important for us, but we shall see what we can achieve in this qualifier.”
“We have to concentrate on our job first and foremost”
But it’s a tougher opponent in Bosnia and Herzegovina up next for Gibraltar on March 25.
We were interested to find out Casciaro’s thoughts on the match, and the prospect of facing the likes of Roma striker Edin Dzeko and Juventus playmaker Miralem Pjanic.
“It’s always a privilege representing your country and playing the likes of players that you have mentioned.”
However, he stated that he’s not going to get carried away by the occasion, by adding: “But we have to concentrate on our job first and foremost.”
More from FootyOn
Read the second part of our Lee Casciaro interview by clicking here! He discusses the future of Gibraltar football and Lincoln City’s FA Cup run.
Check out the rest of our site for more fascinating interviews, betting tips and features.